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The decade of the 1960s at Santa Rosa Junior College was marked by growing diversity in the changing student population. SRJC was growing - enrollment in 1960 was 15,000 students, with 70 full-time faculty members.
Statewide, the role played by community colleges was also changing. The State Master Plan for Higher Education (1960-1975) set community colleges apart from the K-12 districts and established a separate Board of Governors for the California Community Colleges. In 1968, Barney Plover, a SRJC Trustee, became one of the first members of the Community College’s Board of Governors.
Through the late 1950s, SRJC had focused on transfer students and a strong liberal arts curriculum. During the 1960s, job preparation instruction became a more significant part of the College’s program. In 1963, the federal government passed the Vocational Education Act and SRJC responded. The Evening College eventually had enrollment that exceeded that of the day college as reentry and older working students returned to school. Summer classes were initiated in the late 1950s, offering programs to recent high school graduates.
National events also impacted SRJC’s programs in the 1960s. After Martin Luther King’s assassination, the College focused on attracting ethnic minority students. As a part of what eventually became the Educational Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS), the school began recruiting minority students, offering ethnic studies, and directly combating racism.
In 1969, Santa Rosa businessman and former Associated Student Board President Alan Milner worked with President Randolph Newman to form a SRJC Foundation to assist the College in developing broader educational opportunities to students.
Like the rest of the nation, SRJC was rocked by turbulence in the 1960s and early 1970s. Dissension was felt between faculty, students, and administration. In 1970, President Newman stepped down from the presidency.
Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges